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Add a Little Pumpkin Spice to Your WordPress Admin This Autumn

Autumn is my favorite time of the year. On some weekends, I like to drive through my old hometown with the windows rolled down. I crawl through the school zone at 25 mph and breathe in the football field’s freshly cut grass. All those memories of blood, guts, and glory under the Friday night lights flood back. Nervous homecoming dances. Hayrides next to the girl who actually agreed to accompany me for the evening. It is a time of festivals, candied apples, and the lingering heat of an Alabama summer that refuses to fade away.

It was always a time of magic and memories, and now it is also the season for pumpkin spice lattes. With a couple of short weeks left before autumn hits, stores and shops are already gearing up for it.

Love it or hate it, nearly everything has a pumpkin spice flavor now — even the WordPress admin interface.

Ben Byrne, the co-founder of Cornershop Creative, released Pumpkin Spice Admin in the past week. It is a WordPress plugin that brings the sights of the autumn season front and center.

Color scheme of the WordPress dashboard screen when using a pumpkin-spice inspired palette.
Dashboard screen when using Pumpkin Spice Admin.

Never let it be said that I am not a fan of the more whimsical WordPress plugins. One of the joys in my life is seeing these creative attempts at throwing a bit of fun into this thing we call the world wide web. Far too often, we focus so much on business deals and technical features that we sometimes forget to stop and enjoy something as beautiful as autumn leaves changing colors.

Even if we are not simply running a personal blog, it never hurts to install a fun admin-side theme for our own amusement, unbeknownst to our visitors. Just a little something to brighten our day when we cannot be out and enjoying nature.

The biggest downside to the plugin is that it does not rely on the standard WordPress admin color scheme system, which allows each user to select their preferred style. For solo site owners, this is a non-issue. For multi-author websites, it could be problematic if everyone is not on board with the change. I would even consider using it here at WP Tavern, but it might come as a bit of a shock to the rest of the team when they log in.

Technically, it is more than a color scheme. It adds a custom font and a falling leaves animation on each admin screen. However, it would be easy to tie those to user preferences.

At first, I was somewhat off-put by the leaves falling down on the post-editing screen. It could be an annoyance for some users, but the few that appear, quickly pile at the bottom of the browser window. It is not a continuous animation.

Pumpkin Spice Admin plugin showcased with falling leaves in the WordPress post editor.
Falling leaves on the post-editing screen.

The plugin’s font also overrules the post title, but I can live with that. In some ways, I actually prefer it. It does not affect other fonts in the editor.

Pumpkin Spice Admin will automatically stop working after the season is over. It sets itself to run only from September through November, so there are no worries if you forget to deactivate it.

I only have the plugin running in my test environment, but I am enjoying it for now. All that is missing is a pumpkin-style cursor to complete the look.